American Airlines Pet Policy

Per American Airlines pet policy, you can carry domestic pets such as cats and dogs as carry-on baggage, checked baggage (temporarily suspended), or cargo baggage, depending on breed and size. Traveling with a pet in the aircraft cabin requires advance reservations. English-speaking passengers should call +1-844-902-2949 for reservations.

American Airlines Pet Policy

Snapshot

Per American Airlines’ pet policy: 

  • Only dogs and cats are accepted on American Airlines flights. 
  • The total weight of your pet (incl. pet carrier): 
    • Must not exceed 20lb/9kg for pets travelling in the cabin
    • Must not exceed 99lb/45kg for pets travelling as checked baggage (temporarily suspended).
  • Trained service animals can travel free of charge in the cabin with their owners.
  • Emotional support animals will no longer be allowed to travel free of charge in the cabin.
  • Pets can travel in the cabin on most domestic flights, provided your pet is small enough to fit comfortably in a carrier under your front seat. 
  • On domestic flights within the United States and Puerto Rico, your pet must be at least 8 weeks old, and your dog must be at least 16 weeks old. 
  • Larger pets can either be checked in (temporarily suspended) or shipped as cargo.
  • You must reserve in advance because pets are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The maximum number of carry-on kennels permitted on American Airlines is 7. 
  • Carry-on pets are not permitted in the First or Business Class cabins on some aircraft.
  • A health certificate may not be required for carry-on pets travelling in the cabin on most domestic flights. However, proof of rabies vaccination is required for all states (for dogs older than 12 weeks and cats in certain states). If shipped as cargo, a health certificate is required. On international flights, the destination country’s health and documentation requirements must be met.

American Airlines Pet Temperature Restrictions 

According to American Airlines pet policy, pets will not be accepted if the current or forecasted temperature at the location on the itinerary:

  • Exceeds 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29.4 degrees C).
  • Is below 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7.2 degrees C), unless you have a written letter from a licensed vet. 

American Airlines Pet Policy—Carry-on Pets in the Cabin 

American Airlines Carry-on Pets

When flying with a pet in the cabin, American Airlines pet travel policy requires the following:

  • You can travel with 1 kennel, subject to a pet charge.
  • Your dog or cat must be domesticated. 
  • Your pet (dog or cat): 
    • Must be at least 8 weeks old when travelling within the United States and Puerto Rico. 
    • (Dogs) must meet the origin country’s age and vaccine requirements if travelling into the United States. 
    • (Dogs) must be at least 16 weeks old if arriving from a high-risk country and receive their rabies shots before entering the United States. For details, check the CDC website.
  • Only 7 kennels (excluding service animals) can travel in the passenger cabin.
    (on American Eagle flights, only 5 kennels will be accepted; 1 in First Class).
  • Your pet must stay inside the kennel and remain under your front seat throughout the flight.
  • You can travel with a pet carrier and 1 personal item—in which case your kennel will replace your carry-on bag.  
  • If flying in First or Business Class on an A321T aircraft, the combined weight of the pet plus kennel must not exceed 9kg/20lb.
  • Carry-on pets will not be accepted on First or Business Class fares on the following aircraft:
    • Boeing 777-200
    • Boeing 777-300
    • Boeing 787-8
    • Boeing 787-9
  • Your pet’s destination-required health documentation in order. 
  • You cannot travel with pets in the cabin on the following flights:
    • To/from Hawaii
    • To/from Central America
    • To/from South America 
    • On any transatlantic flight 
    • On any transpacific journey

American Airlines Pet Policy—Kennel Guidelines for Carry-on Pets

Per American Airlines in-cabin pet policy:

  • American Airlines Pet Carrier Size. 
    • The pet carrier size must not exceed the under-seat dimensions of your aircraft. 
    • Typically, a non-collapsible pet carrier should not exceed 45 x 33 x 22cm (19 x 13 x 9in).
    • Contact American Airlines reservations to check the exact pet carrier size limits that apply to your journey.
    • Your pet must be able to do all of these without touching the sides or the top of the carrier/kennel: 
      • Stand or sit erect
      • Lie down naturally
      • Turn around normally 
  • The size of a soft-sided collapsible kennel may be slightly larger but it must: 
    • Fit under the seat without excessively collapsing it
    • Be padded and secured
    • Be water-repellant 
    • Have nylon mesh ventilation on at least 2 sides

American Airlines Pet Transport Limitations

American Airlines pet policy clearly states that: 

  • The airline will not accept: 
    • More than 7 kennels per American Airlines’ flight.
      (excluding service animals)
    • More than 5 kennels per American Eagle flight, and 1 in First Class.
  • You must contact American Airlines in advance to make arrangements for your pet’s travel. 

American Airlines Pet Carrier Size—Aircraft Restrictions 

American Airlines’ pet policy requires that you book your pet travel in advance. You must call a ticket office or your travel agent in advance and find out the acceptable pet carrier size for your journey. The pet carrier size varies by aircraft, as shown below. 

AircraftAcceptable Pet Carrier Max. Height of the Pet Carrier
A321T 500 series of smaller46in
B737-800400 series of smaller28in
B777-200 / 300500 series of smaller63in
B787-800 / 900500 series of smaller63in
A330-200 / 300200 series of smaller22in

American Airlines Pet Fee

  • American Airlines’ pet fee for carry-on pets (traveling in the passenger cabin) is USD 125 per pet carrier. 
  • American Airlines pet fee for pets in checked baggage (temporarily suspended) is as follows: 
    • Within the United States – USD 200 per pet carrier
    • Between the United States and Canada, Mexico, – USD 200 per pet carrier
      South and Central America, and the Caribbean. 
    • To/from Brazil – USD 150 per pet carrier

The pet fee applies on a per-destination basis—without a voluntary stopover or connection exceeding 4 hours. Travel itineraries including a voluntary stopover or connection exceeding 4 hours will be charged per connection segment. 

Note

  • Pet fees are non-refundable and apply per pet, per way. 
  • American Airlines has stopped accepting checked pets for now. 
  • Cargo transportation charges for pets will depend on the size of your pet and kennel, and your trip details.

American Airlines Pet Travel Destinations 

The following destinations allow travel with pets on most flights that do not exceed 11 hours and 30 minutes (incl. time to clear customs at arrival city)—or flights from/to:

  • Within the U.S.’ 48 contiguous states 
  • U.S. and Canada
  • St. Thomas
  • St. Croix
  • Puerto Rico
  • Alaska
  • Central America
  • Mexico

The following destinations have additional entry restrictions:

  • South America
  • Mexico
  • Hawaii
  • Australia
  • Continental U.S.
  • The Caribbean

American Airlines Pet Travel Restrictions 

In-cabin pets are not accepted on: 

  • Flights to Jamaica
  • Flights to/from Hawaii
  • Flights to/from Argentina
  • Flights to/from Brazil
  • Flights to/from Chile
  • Flights to/from Columbia
  • Flights to/from Uruguay
  • Flights to/from transatlantic destinations
  • Flights to/from transpacific destinations 

American Airlines Dog Restrictions 

American Airlines pet policy prohibits the carriage of the following brachycephalic or snub-nosed dogs (and their hybrids) as checked pets due to health reasons:

  • Tibetan Spaniel
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Shih Tzu
  • Shar Pei
  • Pug (all breeds)
  • Presa Canario
  • Pit Bull
  • Pekingese
  • Mastiff (all breeds)
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Japanese Chin
  • English Toy Spaniel
  • Dogue De Bordeaux
  • Chow Chow
  • Cane Corso
  • Bulldog (all breeds)
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Boxer (all breeds)
  • Boston Terrier
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Affenpinscher

American Airlines Cat Restrictions 

American Airlines pet policy also prohibits the carriage of the following brachycephalic cats (and their hybrids) as checked pets due to health reasons:

  • Himalayan
  • Persian
  • Exotic Shorthair 
  • Burmese

American Airlines Pet Policy—Checked Pets 

Per American Airlines pet policy (temporarily suspended), you can travel with up to 2 pets as checked baggage, subject to meeting the minimum health and age requirements of your destination city/country. 

To check in your pet, you must:

  • Contact American Airlines at least 48 hours before your travel date.
    (call +1-844-902-2949)
  • Check in a little early at the airport counter.
    (but not more than 4 hours before your flight’s departure)
  • Complete the checklist after discussing it with an agent
  • Carry your pet’s health certificate

The health certificate must be issued by a certified vet:

  • Within 10 days of your travel date
  • Within 60 days of your return if travelling on the same booking
  • Within 10 days of your return if traveling on a separate ticket

American Airlines Pet Travel Restrictions for Checked Pets

Per American Airlines pet policy, checked pets will not be accepted on the following aircraft:

  • A319
  • A320
  • A321
  • A321H
  • A321S
  • A321neo

American Airlines Pet Policy for Checked Pets—Flights with Connections 

Per American Airlines pet policy, checked pets will be permitted to connect only through these cities:

  • Washington Reagan, DC (DCA)
  • Phoenix, AZ (PHX)
  • Philadelphia, PA (PHL)
  • New York LaGuardia, NY (LGA)
  • New York Kennedy, NY (JFK)
  • Miami, FL (MIA)
  • Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
  • Dallas / Fort Worth, TX (DFW)
  • Chicago O’Hare, IL (ORD)
  • Charlotte, NC (CLT)

If you’re connecting to another airline, you will have to recheck your pet and pay the applicable pet fee.

American Airlines Pet Policy—Checked Pet Carrier Guidelines

American Airlines Checked Pet Carrier

Per American Airlines pet policy, if you’re checking in a pet:

  • Your pet must be able to do all of these without touching the sides or the top of the pet carrier: 
    • Stand or sit erect
    • Lie down naturally
    • Turn around normally 
  • Your pet carrier must be within the size requirements of your aircraft.
  • Your pet carrier must be made of metal, wood, plastic, or similar materials.
  • Your pet carrier’s door must be made of cast/welded metal.
  • Your pet carrier must be secured with bolts/screws (top and bottom).
  • Your pet carrier must be fastened with release cable ties from all 4 corners.
  • Your pet carrier must be rigid and sturdy enough to prevent your pet from escaping. 
  • Your pet carrier must be strong enough to prevent your pet from escaping or allow any part of its body from protruding through the container. 
  • Your pet carrier must be leakproof.
  • Your pet carrier must be ventilated from at least 3 sides for domestic travel, and 4 sides for international travel.
  • Your pet carrier must have separate, securely attached dishes for food and water.
  • Your pet carrier must have a small food bag to last over a 24-hour period attached to the container’s top.
  • Absorbent Material
    American Airlines pet policy requires that:
    • The pet carrier must have absorbent material/litter.
    • Organic materials such as wood shavings, hay, or straw are not allowed.
  • If you’re travelling with 2 pets in the same carrier, they must:
  • Belong to the same species.
  • Be similarly sized and weigh under 20lb/9kg each.
  • Be 8 weeks to 6 months old.

American Airlines Pet Carrier Size for Checked Pets 

American Airlines’ pet policy requires that you book your pet travel at least 48 hours in advance. You must call a ticket office or your travel agent to find out the acceptable pet carrier size for your journey. The pet carrier size varies by aircraft, as shown below. 

AircraftAcceptable Pet Carrier Max. Height of the Pet Carrier
A321T 500 series of smaller46in
B737-800400 series of smaller28in
B777-200 / 300500 series of smaller63in
B787-800 / 900500 series of smaller63in
A330-200 / 300200 series of smaller22in

American Airlines Pet Policy—Food and Water for Checked Pets

Per American Airlines pet policy and federal regulations, you must furnish a written, signed, and dated statement (with time) that you have fed your pet with food and water within 4 hours of delivering the pet to the aircraft. The statement must be attached securely to the outer part of the carrier.

Plus, you must provide watering and feeding instructions for the next 24 hours. 

Sedation/Tranquilization of Checked Dogs and Cats is Prohibited 
American Airlines’ pet policy recommends that you should not sedate or tranquilize your pet. However, if you have sedated the pet, you must provide the name and amount of the medication, along with the date and time, to the check-in agent. 

American Airlines Pet Fee—Checked Pets 

Per American Airlines pet policy, the checked pet fee is payable by cash, credit card, or voucher—at the airport or a travel center.

American Airlines pet fee for pets in checked baggage (temporarily suspended) is typically as follows: 

  • Within the United States
  • Between the United States and Canada, Mexico, South and Central America, and the Caribbean.
  • To/from Brazil

USD 200 per pet carrier
USD 200 per pet carrier

USD 150 per pet carrier

The pet fee applies on a per-destination basis—without a voluntary stopover or connection exceeding 4 hours. Travel itineraries including a voluntary stopover or connection exceeding 4 hours will be charged per connection segment. 

American Airlines Pet Temperature Restrictions—Checked Pets

According to American Airlines pet policy, checked pets will not be accepted if the current or forecasted temperature at the location on the itinerary:

  • Exceeds 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29.4 degrees C).
  • Is below 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7.2 degrees C), unless you have a written letter from a licensed vet. 

American Airlines pet policy further requires that if you apply for a waiver to cold temperature restrictions, you must provide a written letter from a licensed vet. The letter must include your name, address, pet name, vet’s name, vet’s signature, vet’s accreditation date, and number, and your pet’s acclimatization temperature. 

The letter must be issued within 10 days of your pet’s flight and within 30 days of another trip. However, if the temperature is less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 6.6 degrees C), you will not be allowed to check in your pet under any condition. 

How to Travel with A Service Animal on American Airlines 

Per American Airlines new pet policy: 

  • Only trained service animals are allowed to fly in the cabin, but only after you fill out and submit the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Service Animal Air Transportation form before your travel date. 
  • You can travel with up to 2 service animals.
  • If your service animal doesn’t qualify as a trained service animal, you can transport it as a pet (on a paid basis).
  • Emotional support animals are not authorized for new travel after January 11, 2021.

You can bring a trained service animal into the cabin with you free of charge—subject to the following conditions: 

  • The trained service animal must be trained to provide assistance that includes but is not limited to: 
    • Mobility impairments
    • Visual impairments
    • Deafness
    • Seizures 
  • The service animal must be at least 4 months old.
  • The service animal must sit at your feet, or under your seat. 
  • If the service animal is seated on your lap, it must not be bigger in size than a child of 2.  
  • You must complete the following forms, submit them, and get them approved at least 48 hours before your flight:
    • DOT Service Animal Air Transportation Form
    • DOT Service Animal Relief Attestation Form
  • The service animal must be well-trained and in your control at all times. 
  • The service animal must not display disruptive behavior such as growling, biting, lunging at people, or jumping on them.

After your forms have been approved by American Airlines, you’ll receive an email with your Service Animal ID (SVAN ID). You can use this ID for future travel for up to 1 year without having to resubmit the form. 

Destination with Restrictions 

The following destinations have additional restrictions for emotional support animals.

  • Hawaii
  • London 
  • Edinburgh 
  • All other destinations within the United Kingdom
  • Ireland
  • Japan
  • Auckland
  •  Hong Kong 
  •  Georgetown
  •  St Vincent and the Grenadines 

Note

  • For all American Airlines flights exceeding 8 hours, passengers must submit the Animal Sanitation Form, declaring that the animal will not be relieving itself—or that it can relieve itself without creating a health or sanitation issue. 
  • If your animal is too big or heavy to be accommodated safely in the cabin, you may be asked to rebook on a flight with more open seats, buy a ticket, or check in your animal. 

Traveling with Other Animal Species on American Airlines?

If you’re traveling with an animal other than a cat, dog, hare, or rabbit, contact an American Airlines Cargo Service Center in your area.

Frequently Asked Questions on American Airlines Pet Policy

What is American Airlines’ pet policy in a nutshell?
American Airlines’ pet policy allows passengers to travel with their pets in the cabin (depending on size and destination) or ship the pet as cargo. Acceptance of checked pets has been temporarily suspended. Other points worth remembering are as follows:

  • Only dogs and cats are accepted on American Airlines flights. 
  • Your pet’s total weight (incl. pet carrier): 
    • Must not exceed 20lb/9kg for pets travelling in the cabin
    • Must not exceed 99lb/45kg for pets travelling as checked baggage (temporarily suspended).
  • Passengers with disabilities can travel with a service animal (if using) free of charge in the cabin.
  • American Airlines will no longer accept emotional support animals free of charge in the cabin.
  • Pets can travel in the cabin on most domestic flights, provided your pet is small enough to fit comfortably in a carrier under your front seat. 
  • On domestic flights within the United States and Puerto Rico, your pet must be at least 8 weeks old, and your dog must be at least 16 weeks old. 
  • Larger pets can either be checked in (temporarily suspended) or shipped as cargo.
  • You must reserve in advance because pets are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The maximum number of carry-on kennels permitted on American Airlines is 7. 
  • Carry-on pets are not permitted in the First or Business Class cabins on some aircraft.
  • A health certificate may not be required for carry-on pets travelling in the cabin on most domestic flights. However, proof of rabies vaccination is required for all states (for dogs older than 12 weeks and cats in certain states). If shipped as cargo, a health certificate is required. On international flights, the destination country’s health and documentation requirements must be met.

What are the requirements for flying with pets on American Airlines?
You must arrange for your pet’s travel in advance by calling American Airlines. American Airlines accepts pets on a first-come, first-served basis and has a limit on the number of pets it will accept per flight. If you’re shipping your pet as cargo, you will likely require a health certificate issued by a licensed vet within 10 days of travel. However, if your pet is travelling in the cabin, a health certificate may not be required on most domestic flights (but you should check before travelling).

Your pet container/kennel must meet the local/regional/international standards. The size of the container will depend on your flight and route, so you must call American Airlines for details. 

What health certificates are required when flying with my pet on American Airlines?
That depends on how your pet is travelling and to which state or country. If you’re shipping your pet as cargo within the United States, you will likely require a health certificate issued by a licensed vet within 10 days of travel. However, if your pet is travelling in the cabin, a health certificate may not be required on most domestic flights (but you should check before travelling).

If travelling to an international destination, you should get in touch with American Airlines by phone, visit the destination country’s website, or check with their embassy/consulate in your area, as most countries have specific requirements on what types of vaccinations are needed to transport pets. If you have any doubts or need more information, you can visit the following websites:

  • To/from/within the European Union: European Commission. 
  • Between other countries: IATA 
  • To the United Kingdom: Gov.UK

What is American Airlines’ pet policy for in-cabin pets?
Per American Airlines’ in-cabin pet policy, small dogs and cats can travel in the cabin on most domestic flights, provided the pet is small enough to fit comfortably in a carrier under your front seat. Also, your pet (incl. carrier) must not exceed 20lb/9kg and its dimensions must be within the aircraft’s set limits. Your pet must be able to comfortably stand, sit, lie down, and turn around inside the carrier. The pet carrier must be placed under your front seat, and your pet must remain inside it at all times. 

The pet carrier’s size will depend on your aircraft, so you must call American Airlines to find out. Trained service dogs are allowed to accompany disabled passengers in the cabin free of charge, but emotional support animals are no longer accepted for free travel on American Airlines. 

What is American Airlines’ pet policy for checked pets in a nutshell?
Per the latest changes to American Airlines’ pet policy, checked pets are temporarily not being accepted for travel. In normal circumstances, passengers can travel with up to 2 pets as checked baggage, provided you comply with the minimum health and age requirements of your destination city/country. 

To check in your pet, you must:

  • Contact American Airlines at least 48 hours before your travel date.
    (call +1-844-902-2949)
  • Check in a little earlier at the airport counter, but not more than 4 hours before your flight’s departure.
  • Carry your pet’s health certificate, which must be issued by a certified vet within 10 days of your travel date.

American Airlines also does not accept checked pets on A319, A320, A321, A321H, A321S, and A321neo aircraft.

What is American Airlines’ pet policy for Hawaii?
Per American Airlines’ pet policy for Hawaii, pets such as dogs and cats cannot travel in the cabin on flights to Hawaii. This is because Hawaii (as well as the U.K., and other countries) have additional requirements and quarantine laws that prohibit the entry or transit of animals. 

What are American Airlines’ pet carrier requirements?
American Airlines pet carrier requirements for carry-on pets will depend on the flight, so you must call American Airlines for details. Below are a few points to keep in mind:

  • The pet carrier/container/kennel can be hard- or soft-sided.
  • The pet carrier must fit under the seat directly in front of you. 
  • Your pet must be small enough to fit in the pet carrier/container without any part of its body touching or protruding from the container. 
  • Your pet must be able to do all of these things comfortably inside the carrier/container/kennel:
    • Stand or sit erect
    • Lie down naturally
    • Turn around normally 

What is American Airlines’ pet carrier size for carry-on pets?
The pet carrier size must not exceed the under-seat dimensions of your aircraft. A non-collapsible pet carrier should typically not exceed 45 x 33 x 22cm (19 x 13 x 9in), but you should contact American Airlines to check the exact pet carrier size limits that apply to your journey. 

Your pet must be able to stand or sit erect, lie down naturally, and turn around normally inside the carrier without touching the sides or the top of the carrier. But regardless of what type of pet carrier you’re using, it must fit under your front seat. 

What is American Airlines’ pet fee for carry-on pets?
American Airlines’ pet fee for carry-on pets, i.e., pets traveling in the passenger cabin, is USD 125 per pet carrier. 

Can I pay my American Airlines pet travel fee online?
American Airlines’ pet travel fee is payable by cash, credit card, or voucher. You can pay either at the airport or at a travel center.

What is American Airlines’ international pet travel policy for in-cabin pets?
Per American Airlines’ international pet travel policy, only small dogs and cats are allowed in the cabin on international flights. 

  • The size of the pet carrier will depend on your route, but your pet must fit comfortably inside the carrier. 
  • American Airlines does not accept emotional support animals free of charge in the cabin, but trained service animals can travel free of charge with their owners. 
  • Snub-nosed dog and cat hybrids are not allowed. 
  • Larger pets must either be checked in (temporarily suspended) or shipped as cargo. 
  • On international flights, the destination country’s health and documentation requirements must be met. 
  • You cannot travel with pets in the cabin on the following flights:
    • To/from Hawaii
    • To/from Central America
    • To/from South America 
    • On any transatlantic flight 
    • On any transpacific journey
  • The carry-on pet fee (each way) is USD 125 per pet carrier.

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